Another Hair Gone: What Causes Hair Loss & What You Can Do To Treat It
Whether you’re a man or a woman, bringing up the topic of hair loss is sure to cause some tension for anyone suffering from it. After all, in today’s beauty obsessed world, each and every one of us want to have the thickest, healthiest head of hair possible. And although it can take a toll on your ego, there are also some health concerns that may be indicated by sudden hair loss.
But the reality is that hair loss is a normal part of everyday life. In fact, according to WebMD, we each lose about 100 hairs per day as some of our hairs complete their telogen phase and naturally fall out. In ideal circumstances though, there are many other hairs in their anagenand catagen phases, which ultimately balance out hair loss and keeps your hair looking as thick as it always has.
However, what happens when this process is interfered with? Let’s take a look.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Although abnormal, increased hair loss most often occurs as a result of male or female pattern baldness, it can also be a secondary result of a variety of other conditions, including iron deficiency (also known as anemia, which tends to affect women of reproductive age), a sudden increase in physical or emotional stress, surgery, pregnancy, as a reaction to grief, weight loss, and much more. If you’re already being treated by your AFM physician for another condition and have been prescribed antidepressants, beta-blockers, and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), these have been known to cause hair loss as well.
In summary: There is no short answer as to what exactly causes hair loss, because there are so many conditions that are the result of a wide variety of factors.
What Should You Do If You’re Experiencing Hair Loss? Are There Any Cures?
While there are no cures for hair loss, if you have a family history of male or female pattern baldness, your physician may be able to recommend methods of slowing your hair loss, such as topical medications like minoxidil or prescription pills such as Propecia. On the other hand, some causes of hair loss will be short-lived, as in the case of pregnancy, and speaking with your physician about changing your medications may help from that aspect.
In rare instances, your hair loss may be the result of more serious conditions such as hyperthyroidism, lupus, polycystic ovarian syndrome, alopecia areata, and more. Because hair loss could be a sign that something’s wrong with your body, especially if it’s sudden, you should make an appointment today to discuss the scenario with your doctor. During your appointment, you may undergo a medical workup, including checking vitamin B12 levels, thyroid function, blood count, iron level, and examining joints for signs of inflammation. In fact, if your AFM physician deems it necessary, screening for depression may also be recommended.
What Should You Do If You’re Suffering From Hair Loss?
If you’re looking for some good news, here it is: If you’re currently experiencing hair loss, you don’t have to go it alone. Instead, call Advanced Family Medicine today at (425) 453-6838. We’ll stand by you throughout the process!